South Beach is a district in Miami Beach from South Pointe Park to around 23rd Street. It is a resort area that is known for its beautiful beach, lively nightlife, and for having the world's largest collection of modern Art Deco architecture.
In 1870, South Beach was predominantly unsettled farmland. In that year, the Lum brothers decided to purchase the 160 acres of land to grow coconuts. A daughter of one of the Lum brothers named the land "South Beach", though the name did not stick until later on.
In 1912, two Miami businessmen bought 400 acres of land in the area, with the goal of building “modest” single family homes. Around 1914, a bridge from Miami to the island was finished. Miami's South Beach was incorporated in 1915, and a land boom in the location began around 1920. With car-accessible roads including the famous streets like Collins avenue, 5th street, Washington Avenue and Ocean Drive, these areas were built for the rich and possibly the famous.
During World War II, South Beach became the location for many soldiers as a training location. After the war, many soldiers stayed permanently in Miami Beach, doubling its population. Miami Beach became an area filled with new buildings and had a new reputation as the “Art Deco District” and took on the famous name “South Beach” or nickname “SoBe”. Starting in 1964, the TV comedy show "The Jackie Gleason Show" was filmed from South Beach.
Gleason's endorsement of Miami Beach as a sunny, warm, and relaxing location led to a rise in popularity. Many people from northern states planned on retiring in South Beach. Unfortunately, some of them did not take into consideration the upkeep that would have to be put into a property near the ocean. After a decline in the senior citizen population in the area, South Beach took a downturn and was considered rundown for some time.
However, this reputation in turn lead to the famous gangster movie “Scarface” (1983) being filmed in the town, putting South Beach back on the map. Interest began to rise again due to its beautiful location and status as a playground for the rich and famous. Throughout the rest of the 1980s and 1990s, South Beach infused many more investment opportunities that has helped it transform once again into a destination for business, tourists and others. South Beach is advertised more through television and has adapted to the city for nightlife with many dance clubs, bars, restaurants and shopping. With the help from these investments, South Beach today has a new fun and relaxing reputation.
What to do
Give yourself an opportunity to enjoy South Beach while lodging in a condo rental or your own rental villa. Visit sites like Lincoln Road pedestrian mall, considered South Beach's premier shopping area. It is home to many restaurants and several nightclubs, such as Score and Function, as well as many retail outlets. Ocean Drive is the easternmost street in South Beach, and stems from south of First to 15th Street, running in a north-south direction. Ocean Drive is responsible for the South Beach aesthetic that most out-of-town visitors expect. It is a popular Spring Break and tourist area, including the famous, yet predominantly local, Pearl and Nikki Beach night spots. It is also home to several prominent restaurants (including "News Cafe," "Mango's," and the MTV-popularized "Clevelander") and is the site of Gianni Versace's former ocean front mansion. South Beach has a very active club and bar scene. It is host to over 150 clubs and other destinations, most of which close at 5AM.
Dining opens up a great variety for all taste and culinary preferences. With the most known restaurants of South Florida, South Beach has the best reputation in international cuisine. Classic dinners, cafeterias and fast food restaurants give more option to a day by day casual meal. South Beach is also home to all kind of variety of cultural, art and exhibition events. Miami Beach Convention Center hosts most of the events, and conventions that you could find in Miami.
See Miami Beach
- 1 Art Deco District (Miami Beach Architectural District), 1001 Ocean Dr, ☏ . It only takes a stroll down Ocean Drive and through much of the neighboring blocks to see the world's largest collection of modern Art Deco architecture. The Miami Design Preservation League runs an Art Deco Welcome Center that serves as the base of operations for all things Art Deco: they hold lectures, show films, and other special events here. They also conduct guided walking tours of the district for a fee; call ahead for times and to make reservations.
- 2 Casa Casuarina (Versace Mansion), 1116 Ocean Dr. Built in 1930 and remodeled by Gianni Versace in 1993, this famous house is where he was murdered in 1997. It is one of the most photographed landmarks in South Beach, but it is not open to the public. It now houses a boutique hotel.
- 3 Espanola Way, Collins West to Pennsylvania. Modeled after Mediterranean villages found in France and Spain.
- 4 Star Island (Biscayne Bay). An artificial island within Miami Beach. The houses are colossal and the architecture is worth taking a look at. Most of the houses are gated. The island looks exclusive because there is a guard house, however, it is a public neighborhood and you are able to go on the island and check out the houses. Celebrities such as Will Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Lenny Kravitz, Gloria Estefan, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, P. Diddy and many others have lived here. If you are planning a trip to Miami this is a good bit of free sightseeing for you.
The city contains an opera company, two dance companies, several arts galleries and theaters. When it comes to musical culture in South Beach there are the popular New World Symphony Orchestra, Bass Art Museum, Miami Convention Center plus many more art galleries.
- 5 Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Road, ☏ . A state-of-the-art theater, home to local and national artists and institutions from the worlds of theater, dance, music, comedy and film.
- 6 Jackie Gleason Theater (The Fillmore), 1700 Washington Ave. Opened in 1950, the theater grew in popularity during the Golden Era, hosting performances from dancers, musicians, comedians and on occasion boxing matches, and featuring figures like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Jack Benny. The television boom in the 1960s led to many shows to be filmed in the auditorium, such as The Dick Clark and Ed Sullivan Show, along with the televised Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. In 1964, the famous comedian Jackie Gleason was given the opportunity to film his weekly comedy hour in the theater, which brought a lot of publicity to Miami. From the 1970s till the late 1980s, the theater became the head theater for many Broadway performances. Today, the Jackie Gleason Theater is known for having the biggest names in the music industry and is now operated by Live Nation.
Museums and exhibits
- 7 Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave, ☏ . Tu W F Sa 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-5PM. This art museum, expanded by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, houses European art from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Baroque and Northern European artworks are the highlights. The Bass Museum also hosts touring exhibitions and the New Information Workshop, a computer laboratory that allows visitors to create their own artwork. $12 adults, $10 students and seniors, children under 6 years of age free. Free admission the second Th of each month from 6-9PM.
- 8 The Holocaust Memorial, 1933-1945 Meridian Ave (at Dade Blvd), ☏ . 9AM-9PM daily. Located adjacent to the Botanical Garden, the memorial was created with the help of Miami Beach Holocaust survivors and sculptor Kenneth Treister in 1984, and was funded by a private, non-profit organization. It was opened to the public in 1990. The most noticeable features of this memorial include a sculpture of a giant outstretched arm covered with climbing Holocaust victims and an Auschwitz tattoo; the Garden of Meditation, with a 200-ft diameter reflecting pool with a dedication to victims; and sculptures of a dying mother and her children surrounded by Anne Frank quotes. In addition, there is a memorial wall etched with the names of victims with candles placed by visitors honoring the memory of the dead. Free.
- 9 Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr. A collection of subtropical palms and plants. Includes a Japanese Garden, orchid collection, exotic plants and varieties of subtropical palms.
- 10 Miami Beach Cultural Campus, The Beach to Park Ave, between 20th and 22nd St. Known as the museum district which includes the Miami City ballet building, the Bass Museum, Miami Beach Regional Library and Collins Park.
- 11 Jewish Museum of Florida, 301 Washington Ave, ☏ . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM, closed Mondays and civil and Jewish holidays. This museum, located in a 1936 synagogue that hosted Miami's first Jewish congregation, has a permanent exhibit detailing how Florida's Jews arrived in Florida as well as their history in Florida and their customs. The museum also has videos to view while you’re inside the museum, temporary exhibits in the center of the synagogue and a gift shop. A small and fairly uninteresting museum. Adult admission $6, senior and student admission $5, family admission $12, children under six and members of the Jewish Museum of Florida free. Admission is also free on Sat.
- Red Bull Art of Can Miami Exhibit, Ocean Dr. An exhibit showing 47 original pieces all made out of Red Bull cans. The pieces range from shoes to birds to face masks all made from the different cans that Red Bull makes. The show is not always there, but when it is, it is for sure a must see.
- 12 Wolfsonian-Florida International University Museum, 1001 Washington Ave, ☏ . M Tu F Sa 11AM-6PM, Th 11AM-9PM, Su noon-5PM. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, this building was the headquarters of the Washington Storage Company, a facility where the rich could stash their valuables whenever they were out of town. Movie theater heir and Miami native Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. stored so much artwork here that he bought the storage company, and later gave the building to Florida International University, hence the museum's odd name. The Wolfsonian hosts a large Modernist-era (around 1885-1945) art collection that includes propaganda posters and postcards, Art Deco household items, and other touring exhibits. There is also a café, bookstore, fountain and a modernist-inspired artwork on the first floor. Adults $10, seniors, students with ID and children 6-12 $5.
- 13 Flamingo Park, 11th St. and Jefferson Ave. Lush outdoor park that offers facilities such as tennis, racquetball and basketball courts.
- 14 Lummus Park, Ocean Dr. from 5th to 15th St. The famous beachfront park of South Beach located along all the party destinations on Ocean Drive. Huge grassy areas and giant palm trees make for a great backdrop for photo shoots, which happen frequently, alongside volleyball courts and pull up bars. A wavy pedestrian walk called the Promenade weaves through the north end of the park and up along the beach to 21st St, where it turns into boardwalk. The bathrooms, located at around 11th Street, are in a stunning Art Deco boat-shaped building but have rusty fixtures and are dirty.
- 15 South Pointe Park, 1 Washington Ave. Good park to sit and watch the cruise ships as they pass by.
- 1 The beach, Ocean Drive and 5th St. to Collins Ave. and 21st St. A trip to South Beach would not be complete without going to its beautiful beach. You will be able to find food and drink concession stands; rent beach chairs and umbrellas; find restrooms and shower facilities; walking trails; volleyball; rent watersports; and feel protected with lifeguards and beach patrol. Topless bathing is allowed here, and a mostly-gay crowd sunbathes around 12th Street.
- Rent a bike or scooter. South Beach has a number of bike rental places. Bikes are a convenient way of traveling around South Beach very quickly, particularly if you want to see a lot in a short amount of time, but it will be hard to ride a bike through large crowds on busy weekends. Lummus Park and Lincoln Road will have bike racks if you want to stop and get around on foot. Scooters can also be rented, but these must stay on the road, and again it will just be frustrating if there is a lot of traffic. Rentals will cost around $8/hour or $30/day (a 24-hour time period from the time you start).
- 2 ArtCenter/South Florida, 800 & 810 Lincoln Rd, ☏ . 11AM - 10PM. A non-profit organization with a public gallery featuring art by some of South Florida's most talented artists. Best known for its artist-in-residence program, which provides 42 studios for professional artists. All studios and the gallery are open to the public free of charge. Free.
- 3 Miami Beach Golf Club, 2301 Alton St. Home to some of the best golf courses with the best weather around. Seasonal rates: Peak season (December to April) costs $200 and the summer season (May to October) costs $95. Rentals and tax are extra.
- South Beach Food Tour. 6PM. A three-hour walking cultural and historical guided journey while tasting Miami Beach's most delicious foods. Given by locals through the historic neighborhood of the Art Deco District. From five-star gourmet to hole-in-the-wall delicious — a scene that's as varied as the communities that make up the area. cost $59.
- Miami Helicopter Tour, 14970 NW 42nd Ave, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 9AM-7PM. Take a helicopter tour of Miami Beach. Miami Helicopter offers 3 tour options. The tour takes off at the Opa-Locka executive airport and will take you all the way down through South Beach Miami. This is a great way to take in the city and beach sights from the air.
- Miami City & Boat Tour, ☏ . Experience the sights, sounds and tropical flavors of Miami and Miami Beach. As you become acquainted with the Magic City you will learn about the culturally diverse and rich history the city embraces.
- Everglades Airboat Tour, ☏ . Take a once in a lifetime journey across the Everglades National Parks river of grass. Tour passengers will find themselves surrounded by wild animals, in their natural habitat. as they travel into the swamp by airboat. Leaves from Miami Beach.
- Miami Yacht Charters & Rentals, 1250 S Miami Ave, ☏ . Suite 1408 Miami. Yacht charters and boat rentals in Miami. Large selection of yachts to choose from between 35 and 150 feet. Half-day, full-day and multi-day charters. Great way to experience Miami. Call for yacht availability and charter quotes.
- 4 The Clinton South Beach Spa, 825 Washington Ave, ☏ .
- 5 Ritz-Carlton Spa South Beach, 1 Lincoln Rd.
- 6 Sanctuary Salon & Spa by Agnes, 1745 James Ave.
- 7 Spa at The Setai, 2001 Collins Ave.
- 8 The Standard Spa, 40 Island Ave, ☏ .
- South Beach Wine & Food Festival, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Various locations throughout South Beach. Held in late February, this festival is sponsored by Food & Wine magazine and the Food Network. The event raises money for Florida International University’s hospitality program by having celebrity cooks and chefs (many of them who work for or have appeared on Food Network at one time) descend upon South Beach to do cooking demonstrations and throw parties. Florida International University’s hospitality program students volunteer at some of the festival’s events. Wine and food tastings featuring local chefs and cuisine are also held during the annual event. Tickets range from $15–300 depending on the event.
- Winter Party, ☏ (ask for Michael Bath). Various locations throughout South Beach. Held between mid-February and mid-March, this circuit party benefits several gay organizations throughout Dade County as well as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Beach parties, pool parties, parties held at local clubs and a dinner are the main features of the Winter Party.
- Winter Music Conference, fax: . Various locations throughout South Beach, +1 954 563-4444. Held in mid-March, the Winter Music Party attracts queer people for a good cause, the Winter Music Conference attracts electronic musicians (and the labels they belong to) and DJs as well as fans of various electronic music genres for the love of music. In addition to several parties held in clubs, parks and on Lummus Beach (and occasionally in retail stores and hotels), there are seminars for people to learn more about the music business and DJ showcases. Don’t confuse the Winter Music Conference with the Winter Party!
- Miami Fashion Week. mid-March. Miami Beach Convention Center, South Beach. The week consists of exhibitions, fashion shows and sponsor lounges as the world’s fashion elite flock to Miami. Since 1998
In the Miami area, most clothing shops located away from shopping malls are located in South Beach.
- 1 Lincoln Road Mall (runs east-west from Collins Ave. to Bay Road between 16th and 17th St). One of the hottest shopping streets in the country. A 7 block outdoor pedestrian mall with 400 businesses, including stores and restaurants running the gauntlet from cozy cafe to high class dining. This open-air pedestrian mall was designed in 1957 by legendary Miami architect Morris Lapidus. It includes restaurants and cafes that run the gamut from Starbucks to Miami originals like Pizza Rustica and David’s Café. There is outside seating. It includes nationally known shops such as French Connection, Ann Taylor and Anthropologie, as well as international shops such as Italy’s Miss Sixty. There’s also a multiplex theater located on the corner of Lincoln Road and Alton Drive. The Lincoln Road Market farmer's market is open from 9AM-6PM on Sunday year round. There is also an antiques market on the second and fourth Sundays from 9AM to 5PM (call +1 305-673-4991 for information).
- Collins Avenue Fashion District (north-south on Collins Avenue from 3rd to 15th St). This strip plays host to plenty of hip designers from Versace, Armani, and so on, and has stores to satisfy all shopping tastes and budgets. For example:
- Guess, 736 Collins Ave., ☏ . National retailer specializing in clothing and accessories for men and women. Two-story building.
- Nicole Miller, 656 Collins Ave., ☏ . Women's clothing and accessories.
- United Colors of Benetton, 668 Collins Ave., ☏ . Women's shoes, clothing and accessories.
- Kenneth Cole, 190 8th St., ☏ . Open F Sa 10AM-9PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Su noon-8PM. Men and women's clothing and accessories. Two-story building with a minimalist feel.
- Barney's New York Co-op, 832 Collins Ave., ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Open M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-7PM. Men's and women's clothing such as A Bathing Ape. Supposedly more affordable than a regular Barney's New York, but prices can be a bit steep.
- Diesel Jeans, 801 Washington Ave., ☏ . Italian retailer that specializes in jeans for men and women. Sometimes hosts special events such as a showcase for electronic labels Ghostly and Spectral Sound at the 2007 Winter Music Conference.
- Ocean Drive (Along the entire street of Ocean Drive): You will find a collection of funky, youthful boutiques and unique accessories.
- Sephora, 721 Collins Ave, ☏ . M-Th 10AM-10PM, F Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 11AM-8PM. Nationwide chain specializing in makeup. There are also branches of Sephora in the Dadeland Mall.
- M*A*C, 650 Collins Ave, ☏ . Small outpost of the worldwide cosmetic line. There is also a branch of M*A*C in Aventura Mall.
If you're craving a scene with your steak, then South Beach is the place to be. Like many cities in Europe and Latin America, it is fashionable to dine late in South Beach, preferably after 9PM, sometimes as late as midnight. Service on South Beach is notoriously slow and arrogant, but it comes with the turf (of course, it is possible to find restaurants that defy the notoriety and actually pride themselves on friendly service).
South Beach has plenty of places to eat. Restaurants and cafes along Ocean Drive are convenient for beach-goers and popular amongst tourists, but they can be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, Lincoln Road offers a wide range of quality food at good prices and cater to locals and tourists alike. For a more European flavor, check out Espanola Way which looks and feels just like an Italian street.
If you plan on eating on Ocean Drive, look for specials: some places offer half off of certain items for lunch, for example, or have promoters out on the sidewalks with flyers advertising deals for the evening.
- 11th Street Diner, 1065 Washington Ave, ☏ . Really cool and is on the corner of Washington and 11th St in South Beach. They serve breakfast all day. $8-15.
- [formerly dead link] Big Pink, 157 Collins Ave (across from Privé and Opium Gardens), ☏ . Comfort food. Once you enter this restaurant, head for its large menu near the entrance to see its selection of burgers, breakfasts and other items that have been brought to the present day. Stay if you're interested in what's playing on the televisions. If you’re not in the mood to head to the restaurant, Big Pink offers free takeout in a pink VW bug (and occasionally to bouncers at Privé). $3-20.
- BLT Steak at The Betsy, 1440 Ocean Dr, ☏ . BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel's iconic modern American steakhouse, occupies the Betsy's beautiful lobby. Combining the highest quality ingredients with enticing, exacting French technique, Chef Tourondel and BLT Steak have won an array of awards from experts at Esquire, Travel & Leisure, Saveur, and Wine and Spectator magazines.
- David's Café, 1058 Collins Ave, ☏ . Open 24 hours. Cheap, legendary Cuban food. Free delivery on South Beach. There is a second location near the Lincoln Road Mall, at 1654 Meridian Ave. $2-19.
- The Frieze Ice Cream Factory, 1626 Michigan Ave (one block south of Lincoln Road), ☏ . This self-designated "world's greatest ice cream company" is something of a local favorite, and though you might not consider it any better than your ice cream shop back home, their selection of homemade flavors are fairly creative and varied. They also have a large selection of "healthier" sorbets, an important component for image-conscious Miami. If you're hankering for something cold, this is a better choice than the chains on Lincoln Road that overcharge. $2-7.
- [dead link] ISHQ, 530 Ocean Dr, ☏ . SHQ serves the best Indian and vegetarian/vegan cuisine in South Beach. They have a great brunch on Sundays, and serve delicious cocktails $5-23.
- Mi Ami Italian Cafe, 444 Ocean Dr, ☏ . 7:30AM-3AM. Friendly atmosphere, beautiful terrace, 100% Authentic Italian food & Pizza $9-30.
- News Café, 800 Ocean Dr. Open 24 hours. Breakfast, pizzas, sandwiches and paninis, burgers, Middle Eastern cuisine, appetizers, entrees and dessert. Because of its location on the corner of 8th St and Ocean Dr, News Café is the perfect place to see anything from models to shoppers to Duck Tour buses. Note: a 15% tip is added to your order automatically. Internet access also available here for a fee. $2-25.
- Pizza Rustica, 863 Washington Ave, ☏ . This small chain is also branching out in LA and locations all over South Florida. In Miami, there are locations in Downtown Miami, Cameo and Lincoln Road Mall. It serves Roman-style pizza. Pizza is made by the foot and cut to a desired length and then folded over like a sandwich. Salads are also served. Accepts cash only. $3-18.
- Van Dyke, 846 Lincoln Rd, ☏ . Serving a good range of salads, sandwiches and pastas at a reasonable price. $7+.
- 660 Mediterranean Kitchen at The Angler's, 660 Washington Ave, ☏ . Cozy indoor and outdoor spaces provide for a romantic and intimate dining experience, full liquor bar, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Blue Door Restaurant (located in the Delano Hotel), 1685 Collins Ave, ☏ . Breakfast 7PM-11:30AM, lunch 11:30AM-4PM, brunch (Sundays) 10:30AM-2:30PM, prix fixe dinner 7-11PM, a la carte dinner 7PM-midnight. French/Brazilian fusion. Reservations required for the prix fixe dinner. Reservations can be taken online.
- Blue Sea Restaurant, 1685 Collins Ave (located in an alcove off the main lobby of the Delano Hotel), ☏ . Su-Th 7PM-midnight, F Sa 5:30PM-1AM. Sushi.
- Larios on the Beach, 820 Ocean Dr, ☏ . Su-Th 11:30AM-midnight, F Sa 11:30AM-1AM. Cuban. One of Gloria Estefan's many restaurants in South Florida, this place is said to have some of the best mojitos in South Beach. $8-27.
- Nexxt Cafe, 700 Lincoln Rd, ☏ . European sidewalk cafe offering a choice of excellent value international cuisine. Save room for one of the delectable fresh French pastries Nexxt concocts daily.
- Pascha's, 900 Lincoln Rd, ☏ . Healthy Mediterranean fare that is as tasty as it looks. Good location on Lincoln Road and the staff are attentive.
- Rice House of Kabob, 1318 Alton Rd, ☏ . Clean lined decor inside serves plentiful and filling Iranian cuisine. Great for a lunch time bite.
- The Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Rd, ☏ . This alfresco style restaurant serves an eclectic, moderately priced menu of dishes such as grilled fresh tuna and pasta with portobello mushrooms, artichokes, spinach and roasted peppers. The umbrella shaded tables are located right on the sidewalk, which is prime for people watching! Located right on Lincoln Road, you can put your name in for an outside table and go shopping while you wait. Upstairs there is an amazing jazz club, quite possibly the best in town. Every Sunday they start a week of nightly jazz. As the week rolls on, big-name regulars like pianists Brian Murphy and Mike Orta, vocalist Nicole Henry and drummer Don Miller make appearances and rock through the night. The cover charge at the door usually runs from about $5 to $15.
- 7 Spices Restaurant & Hookah Lounge, 610 Lincoln Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This middle eastern restaurant offers a variety of authentic and traditional dishes from the eastern Mediterranean, its astounding patio seating and the cute decoration are worth the visit, they also have hookah with a large variety of flavors. Price range $12-$30 per person, per meal. $12-$30.
- A Fish Called Avalon, 700 Ocean Dr, ☏ . Fresh seafood restaurant that has locals and visitors raving. While the service can be better, the food is impeccable. Be sure to try the Lobster Cavatelli or the Cilantro Cured Swordfish. $12-45.
- Barton G. the Restaurant, 1427 West Ave, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M–Th 6:30PM–9PM, F-Su 6–11PM. Experimental American cuisine, with plates and drinks outrageously designed by chef Barton G., South Beach's most famous event planner and caterer. He uses the same showy presentation and food in his restaurant as he does with his catering. Reservations are requested. Dine with socialites and celebrities, and don't forget your credit card, it's quite expensive. $8-30.
- Casa Tua, 1700 James Ave, ☏ . Lunch M-F 11:30AM-3PM, dinner M-Sa 7PM-midnight. Italian cuisine. If it's good enough for Sting then it might be good enough for you. If you want to go up-market for dinner, it's hard to beat--but be prepared to pay for the experience. Reservations are required to get inside, but make sure you can find the restaurant first or you might get a headache attempting to get to dinner. $12–100 per person, per meal. If the restaurant decides to advertise out front, it’s not going to be soon.
- Joe's Stone Crab, 11 Washington Ave, ☏ . Seasonal hours. Opened in 1913, this Miami landmark is famous for three things: stone crabs, which they claim to have discovered, key lime pie and the long lines for its dinner service. Lines should be shorter or non-existent during lunch or at its sister restaurant, Joe's Take-Out. Stone crab claws can cost as much as $60 per serving, depending upon the size and current market prices. If you're looking for something different, there are plenty of other seafood and meat entrees on the menu in the $20-$30 price range.
- Mango's Tropical Café, 900 Ocean Dr, ☏ . Daily 11AM-5AM. Caribbean and American. Mango's appearance in the cinematic bomb From Justin to Kelly—sparsely populated, well-lit at night and quiet enough to have a conversation about conniving girlfriends—is the exact opposite of how Mango's is on a typical day. This infamous South Beach spot is known for its dancers and bartenders in cat suits gyrating on the center bar to live music. There are also two side bars and plenty of tables if you want to be away from the action in the middle of the restaurant. After 6PM, it is a 21+ only establishment, and there will be a cover charge that ranges from $5-20 depending on the entertainment.
- Porcao, 801 Brickell Bay Dr, ☏ . A fixed price ($41) offers a variety of food options, but vegetarians beware, this is a meat lovers mecca. Although you can snack on healthy options at the buffet - Caesar salad, sushi, pasta, and various vegetables and cheeses, the main event is the meat. Roaming waiters present you with various types of meat carved for you at your table (rodizio service). All cuts of meat are exceptional and tastes even better accompanied by Chilean wines offered on the wine list.
- Tantra (on the corner of Espanola Way), 1145 Pennsylvania Ave, ☏ . Daily 7PM-5AM. Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/Indian. This restaurant/club is heavy on the Middle Eastern vibe—grass land its floors. Booths can be closed in this eatery for privacy and hookah pipes and aphrodisiac cocktails are passed around. $24-52.
Nightlife in South Beach starts late and ends early in the morning. Getting to a club well after midnight is common. If you're not famous, wealthy, or not with someone famous or wealthy, expect to be charged full price for cover (that includes the ladies!) at some of the swankier clubs. If there's a cover, make sure you find out what the crowd is and what kind of music or DJ is playing on any particular night before you buy in to anything you might not enjoy. No matter how exclusive the location is, drinks anywhere will be plenty expensive, which is why anyone without money to throw around will have had a few drinks already before they show up anywhere else.
- Caffè Tramonto, 235 Washington Ave (between 2nd and 3rd), ☏ . Daily 6PM-close. A bar with a fun international atmosphere in South Beach.
- Clevelander, 1020 Ocean Dr, ☏ . Beautiful, fun, and a great night life spot. The Clevelander Bar is fun for all ages over the age of 21. They usually begin the night with a live band and then as the night goes on the DJ is spinning all the latest tunes. They have a stage that is designated for dancing and right behind the stage is the pool bar. They have fun tropical drinks along with classic drinks that many are used to at home. At night the bars are lit up with beautiful neon lights to set it apart from the other bars that line the Ocean Drive. Drinks range from $10-14, but gratuity is included.
- Laundry Bar, 721 Lincoln Ln, ☏ . Daily 7AM-5AM, happy hour at 4-9PM. True to its name, this one of a kind bar lets you do your laundry while dancing playing pool and drinking with friends. (Note: alcohol isn't served until after midnight.) Welcomes a mixed crowd of straight and gay people.
- Mac's Club Deuce, 222 14th St, ☏ . Daily 8AM-5AM. Miami Beach's oldest bar, founded in 1926, is not as pretentious as several other bars around Miami. An affordable, local hangout with a jukebox and a pool table.
- Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave, ☏ . Daily 10PM-5AM. Large popular nightclub set in the heart of Washington Avenue. Set over two floors, the slightly-pretentious yet buzzing club is a display of urban chic and is popular largely with tourists and locals depending on the night. The club has big name DJ's that you would find in any Ibiza superclub, such as Roger Sanchez. The club is part of the Opium Group which owns some of the other clubs in South Beach. There are a mixture of nights ranging from techno/commercial house to hip hop and RnB. If you are visiting Miami, your hotel should be able to provide you with concierge passes which will get you to the front of the line, although on big events expect to argue with the doorstaff about the wait. Expect to pay $50 for entry when big names appear, $15-30 midweek, well worth a visit.
- Nikki Beach Miami, 1 Ocean Dr, ☏ . Teepees and beds surround this outdoor space, which feels smaller in person than it does in television shows and movies such as From Justin to Kelly. This club is infamous for welcoming the likes of celebrities such as Brooke Hogan (Hulk Hogan's daughter and a singer in her own right). Part of a small chain of Nikki Beach clubs, others most notably in St. Tropez and Hollywood, Ca. The nightclub has a fun yet pretentious vibe, the doorstaff often operate a strict 70/30 rule on women to men on busy nights, which can often mean male groups having difficulty gaining entry. The only way to ensure entry is to purchase a table costing anywhere between $500-1000. The clientele is a mix of socialites, models and some tourists. Sundays are the most popular night, definitely worth a visit.
- Opium Garden, 136 Collins Ave, ☏ . Th-Sa 11PM-5AM. This 32,000-sq-ft Asian-inspired nightclub is a well-known hot spot in South Beach. With two levels, this nightclub has a capacity of up to 2000 guests. There is always a line to get in so get there early! If you make it through the doors, there is a $20 cover charge. This beautiful Zen-like nightclub plays dance, hip-hop, and Top 20s music all night long. They feature 16 specialty drinks and they offer table service with a $200 minimum. Opium is a little pricey, but it is worth the experience!
- Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Ave, ☏ . M-F 3PM-5AM, Sa Su 6PM-5AM. A funky local dance joint, the world famous Purdy Lounge is open till 5AM every day of the year. Daily drink specials, live reggae on Mon and live local bands on Tuesday. The joint gets packed on the weekends and most of the crowds starts coming in at 11PM. Drinks are inexpensive and pours are generous.
- Rose Bar at the Delano, 1685 Collins Ave (located in the Delano Hotel), ☏ . Created by Ian Schrager, the bar has several rose-colored glasses surrounding it. Drinks are expensive, so be prepared to wear out your wallet.
- Skybar, 1901 Collins Ave (located at the Shore Club), ☏ . Times vary depending on rooms within the Skybar. Consisting of several places in the space behind the Shore Club with whimsical names like the Redroom, the Sandbar and the Rumbar, the Shore Club is tough to get into for people not on the A-list or guests at the hotel. Another hotel creation by Ian Schrager.
- Tantra, 1445 Pennsylvania Ave, ☏ . Daily 7PM-5AM. A sensual Middle Eastern atmosphere complete with real grass on the floor, Tantra is the place to feel sleek and sexy. Aphrodisiac martinis add to the ambiance, while the house music playing makes you feel that you've found the 'it' spot in South Beach.
- Wet Willy's, 760 Ocean Dr, ☏ . More than 40 Daiquiri flavors. What is there no to love while/after soaking up the sun in this beautiful city? Wet Willy's is known for their delicious daiquiris and exotic mixed drinks. A great fun atmosphere. They also serve food.
While some of the most famous and well-known hotels and resorts are located in South Beach, the area can be noisy, crowded and expensive. Hotels and resorts are located along the entire length of Miami Beach, so travelers should also consider places further north of 23rd St.
Adjacent to the beach (on Collins and Ocean streets, south of 23rd street), pretty much every building is a hotel, so there are many not listed here.
- 1 The Clay Hotel, 1438 Washington Ave, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 120 rooms. Some rooms have balconies, TVs, phones and baths. Kitchen, laundry, TV, refrigerator, air conditioning. $74-133 per night (off-season), $150-240 per night (winter).
- 2 Jazz on South Beach Hostel, 321 Collins Ave, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Backpackers hostel in Miami just 1 block from the beach. $21-35 (dorms), $135 (privates).
- 3 Miami Beach International Hostel, 236 9th St, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3:15PM, check-out: 11AM. This hostel has 100 rooms. Dorm rooms have four beds. Half of the non-dorm rooms are private. Kitchen, internet access (on a dated computer), video rental library. $13-15 per bed (dorm rooms), $32-59 per night (regular rooms, low season), $49-89 per night (regular rooms, high season).
- 4 SoBe Hostel, 235 Washington Ave, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. The hostel offers shared or private rooms for 4, 6, and 8 people. Security lockers in-dorm, large kitchen and TV area with pool table and internet access. They also have a large bar that is open until 5AM for the party animals with lots of great drink specials. Free transportation to Miami International Airport offered twice a day. If you are traveling on a tight budget, this is a great opportunity to experience South Beach without going overboard. $40 (2 bed room), $24-$28 (single bed).
- 5 Tropics Hotel & Hostel, 1550 Collins Ave, ☏ . Dorm rooms have four to eight beds per room. Private rooms have TV and phone. Barbecue, pool. $27-39 (dorm rooms), $90-180 (private rooms).
- 6 [formerly dead link] Villa Paradiso, 1415 Collins Ave, ☏ . Rooms have queen sized beds, double beds or couch-beds. Air conditioning, TV, kitchen, refrigerator, coffeemaker. $99+.
- Albion Hotel South Beach, 1650 James Ave, ☏ . Modern Art Deco hotel ideally situated a couple of blocks to Collins Ave, Ocean Drive. The hotel is stylised as an Ocean Liner and is excellent value for money. The hotel has a large mezzanine level pool, hotel bar and rooms with very comfortable beds - you have been warned! The concierge staff are very helpful and will organise most things for you, there is also valet parking available.
- 7 Beacon Hotel, 720 Ocean Dr, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Rooms are equipped with flat panel LCD TVs, cable television, IP-phones with voicemail and dataport features, in-room mini-bar, and Wi-Fi. $140-$460.
- 8 Clevelander Hotel, 1020 Ocean Dr. Known as one of the hottest party places to stay while in South Beach. The pool is surrounded by glass blocks and neon bars, while the dance floors and outdoor stage are often filled with fantastic entertainment. Situated right on Ocean Drive, the sexy outdoor bars are always hopping and they have the highest liquor sales of any bar in Florida. The rooms are well furnished and are all equipped with AC and cable TV (if you have time to watch TV at all). The rooms average at about $120/night, depending on time of travel. If you are ready to party, this hotel won't let you down. Due to the party scene at this hotel, no one under 21 can stay here.
- 9 The Hotel of South Beach, 801 Collins Ave, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Formerly the Tiffany Hotel (as implied by its spire on the top of the building), it was renovated by clothing and home decorating designer Todd Oldham. The Hotel has a blank facade on the outside but a multi-colored space on the inside. The 53 rooms are decorated with mirrors rather than artwork and have plenty of storage space around the room to compensate for room size. There is also a gem-cut swimming pool and lounge on the upper decks, room service, air conditioning, TV, stereo, and Wish, The Hotel's French-Brazilian restaurant which also has a bar. $245-285 (winter rates), $144-245 (off-season rates).
- 10 Hotel St. Augustine, 347 Washington Ave, ☏ . A "boutique" style hotel in the SoFi District with Art Deco architecture and 24 loft-style rooms.
- 11 The Kent Hotel, 1131 Collins Ave. A boutique Art Deco hotel offering cool stylish elements of Miami Beach including modern themes, unique colors and furniture.
- 12 Marriott Stanton South Beach, 161 Ocean Drive, ☏ . Oceanfront hotel that features a full-service spa, Deco Blue Restaurant and is pet friendly.
- 13 Pelican Hotel, 826 Ocean Dr, ☏ . Pelican Hotel claims it is a “toy-hotel” rather than a hotel because every one of its 30 rooms and suites is designed around a theme rather than the hotel being designed around a theme. Magnus Ehrland, a Swedish designer, created rooms like the “Psychedelic(ate) Girl,” “Jesus Christ Megastar” and the “Best Whorehouse” (which is said to be the most popular, and hardest to score, room in the hotel). Ehrland used his imagination and a lot of flea market goodies to design the rooms. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves breakfast well into the day, a bar, a concierge, laundry service, air conditioning, TV, refrigerator, hair dryer, iron, safe, and a stereo. $180-$440 per night (winter rates), $155-310 per night (off-season rates)..
- 14 The Raleigh, 1775 Collins Ave, ☏ . The 105-room Raleigh hotel is a masterpiece of Art Deco grandeur, designed by legendary architect L. Murray in 1940, and has been a staple of South Beach since its renovation in the 1980s. The pool is fantastic.
- 15 San Juan Hotel South Beach, 1680 Collins Ave.
- 16 Townhouse Hotel, 150 20th St. Modern design & old-fashioned comfort.
- 17 The Bentley Hotel, 501 Ocean Dr. Yet another Art Deco Hotel in an oceanfront building dating back to from 1934. The Bentley's meticulously restored art deco architecture provides a luxurious, yet intimate environment. One of few upscale options on Ocean Drive.
- Cardozo Hotel, 501 Ocean Dr. The Cardozo hotel, owned by singer Gloria Estefan and her husband, producer Emilio Estefan Jr., offers a variety of deluxe suites, as well as superior ocean view, and standard accommodations.
- 18 Delano, 1685 Collins Ave, ☏ . Hotel has poolside bungalows, the Blue Door restaurant, the Blue Sea restaurant, the Rose Bar, the Agua Spa, penthouse suites and meeting facilities. Known in the past for Madonna hanging around the hotel, nowadays you may find the likes of Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis in the hotel whenever she's in town. The famous hotel lobby has become a nightclub destination in its own right, which is great if you want somewhere to party, not so much if you're just trying to get back to your room. $315-925 (standard room), $1,000-2,100 (suite), $1,500-3,000 (bungalow/two bedroom), $2,400-3,800 (penthouse).
- 19 The Setai, 2001 Collins Ave, ☏ . Contemporary Asian style hotel in a reconstructed Deco building. Managed by GHM hotels, operator of the high-end Chedi chain. Quite possibly one of the most expensive boutique hotels in Miami (let alone South Beach). $950-9000 per night (ask about their prices for their four-bedroom penthouse).
- 20 The Shore Club Hotel, 1901 Collins Ave, ☏ . Hotel has the Beach House (a private villa), two pools, a spa, the Skybar, Nobu & Ago restaurant, penthouse suites and meeting facilities. $450-1500 per night.
- The Tides South Beach Hotel, 1220 Ocean Dr, ☏ . An icon of Art Deco architecture. Debuted a provocative new design in the fall of 2007 by trendsetting designer Kelly Wearstler. The glamorous new design re-dresses the hotel's interiors incorporating elements from the sea, rich textures, sunset colors and vintage recreations with a nod to its illustrious past while setting new standards for future hotel design.
- 21 1 Hotel South Beach (1 Hotel & Homes South Beach), 2341 Collins Ave, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A 426-room hotel, each room designed using reclaimed materials. The property has four swimming pools including a beachfront, rooftop, hotel pool. The Lobby has a farm-stand and the restaurant is farm-to-table cuisine with chef Tom Colicchio. $699+.
- Versace Mansion. Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer, known for creating fashionable clothes influenced by the infamous Andy Warhol and historical Roman and Greek art works. At the age of 50; Gianni Versace was murdered in front of his South Beach property (formerly known as Casa Casuarina) by a serial killer. The Versace Mansion is now a hotel and event spot in South Beach.